Derby

Owner jailed after abandoned Jack Russell eats companion

Simba (rehomed)
Image caption Simba, who has now been rehomed, was so hungry he was forced to eat his companion

A man who abandoned his two Jack Russell dogs when he moved house, leaving them so hungry that one ate the other, has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Shane Potts, of Lower Lane in High Peak, Derbyshire, left the dogs with no food or water for more than a month.

An RSPCA inspector initially mistook the dead dog for a chewed-up toy when she found them.

At Chesterfield magistrates, Potts admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering.

RSPCA Inspector Lorna Campbell told an earlier hearing how she had been called to the house, in Furness Vale, Derbyshire, by a concerned member of the public in February.

'Devastating' find

She described the moment she found the two Jack Russells - Nala, a female and Simba, a male - as "horrific".

"When I saw Simba at the window it was obvious he was emaciated and when I looked in, I saw what I thought was a toy he'd chewed up.

Image caption The dogs were left without food or water for more than a month

"It took a moment before I realised the full horror of what it actually was, the remains of Nala. It was devastating," she said.

Potts had been offered advice by the RSPCA in July 2011, was also given neutering vouchers and had had a third dog rehomed.

Ms Campbell added Simba's survival was a "miracle".

"The conditions in the house were terrible. The place was covered in faeces and the floor was slippery with urine.

"There was a shredded dog food bag on the floor, an empty tub of gravy granules, chewed towels and what was left of his companion.

"Tragically there was a bag of dog biscuits on the worktop which looked as though the dogs had been trying to reach it, but it was just too high," she said.

Potts' solicitor told the court his client had been finding it difficult to manage his responsibilities and had moved in with his mother to help.

Potts was also banned from keeping any animals for 10 years and ordered to pay £500 in costs.

Simba has been rehomed by the RSPCA.

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